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Thirst after more grace to keep them; and consequently were Instructed in what they were to believe and do. The Case of Cornclius and his Company is consider'd Ch. 1.

There is nothing to be found in the Scripture of Confirming Infants, altho' it is always practis'd by the Greek Church; nor of Confirming Children, before they could Understand the duty of Christians, as has been done in England, and other parts.

There is indeed little doubt, but that in the congregation of believers, A&ts. 4, who were all said to be filled with the Holy Ghost, there were infants in their Mothers, or nurses arms But they were all filled with the Holy Ghoft, is affirm'd only of those that had Prayed, not of such children as had not underItanding to pray with them.

In the Confirmation of the Samaritans, there is no more mention of excepting infants, than there was in Baptizing them. They that were Baptiz'd in the Name of the Lord Jesus, were Confirm'd. But this must be understood only of such Baptized persons as were to be Confirm'd: as when Matth. 28, Christ says, Go and teach all nations, baptizing them; he means Teach those that are capable of teaching; and Baptize those that be Baptiz'd.

Whatever else may be said in this case, it is to be answer'd, that there is exprels Authority in Scripture for + Baptizing infants, but none for Confirning them.

As for the Lord's Supper supplying the want of Confirmation, as some now think: they that believe Confirmation to be an ordinance of man, may think so. But that others also may not be in the same error, it is expedient for them to consider, that there is not so much as any thing of pretence for it to be found in the Scripture. But on the contrary, how much did the Apostles themselves, all of them, (Matth. 26. 31) and even Peter, the most zealous of them, want the grace of Confirmation, the fame night after their partaking of that holy Sacrament! And their first converts, after their receiving that Sacrament, (Akts 2. 42, 46) did receive the Grace of Confirmation, by the Prayer of the Apostles and the congregation.

Ch. 4. 31.

Altho' the Lord's Supper is a Means and Pledge of all the Benefits of Christ's Death ; yet it is upon condition of our Using all other means. It will not supply the want of Baptism, or of daily Prayer, or of continual Learning the Word. So it will not supply the want of Confirmation.

Focl 2. 16. + Gen. 17. 10, 11, 12. Matth. 28. 19. John 3. 5, 6. 1 Cor. 7. 14.

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In the Lord's Supper we remember Christ's Death Sealing the New Testament. And this can give us the hope of receiva ing the Benefits of the New Testament, no otherwise than by our Performing all that is requird of us in the New Testament, for the obtaining of the same Benefits

. It cannot give us now what is to be receivid at another time, and by other Means; but only a Right to it, when the means is us’d. And it does most strictly oblige us to use the same means, as being requir’d in the New Testament Sealed with Christ's Blood.

Therefore all that can be said in this case, is, To those that are Ready and Defirous to be Confirm'd, the Lord's Supper, seals the Assurance of their receiving the Promise of Confirma. tion, when they are Confirm'd.

If any thing ever Supplied the want of Confirmation, it was Ordination. For therein by the Prayer, and Laying on of the hands of the Apostles and Bishops, the Holy Ghoft was, and is given for the work of the Ministry; (1 Tim. 4. 14. 2 Tim. 1. 6, 7) part of which work is an Exemplary life. And the Apostles and St. Paul receiv’d the Holy Ghost for their Confirmation, when they receiv'd him for their Ordination. But when the Apostles Ordaind others, Axs 6. 3, we read how for the office of Deacons they requir'd such as had before receiv'd the Grace of Confirmation. And the directions which St. Paul gives 1 Tim. 3. 6, 9. Tit. 1. 9. Ch. 2. 2, for the choice of Bishops or Elders, and Deacons, must suppose them to be Confirm'd, as well as Baptiz'd, both being of the foundation of the dotrine of Christ. Heb. 6. 2.

Therefore as in the Ordinary settled way of Confrmation, the Grace thereof was built upon the Grace of Baptism: so the Grace receiv'd in the Ordinary settled way of Ordination, was built upon the Grace of Confirmation. And we are to follow the Ordinary settled way.

There is one other question needful to be resolv'd, whether Hypocrites who were unworthily Confirm'd without any Benefit, might, upon their true repentance be Confirm'd again.

They indeed had Hands laid on them, with Prayer and Blesing: but they were not Confirm’d. And what was to be done to them, when they truly repented, is intimated in St. Paul's question to the Disciples at Ephesus, Acts 19. 2, Have ye re. ceiv'd the Holy Ghoff since ye believed

Those hypocrites therefore, when they truly repented, were to receive, by the Prayer and Laying on of the hands of the Apostles and Bishops, what they had not receiv'd before. And the fame is to be done now.

The

The fame is to be faid of those that come to this Holy Ordinance without necessary knowledge, altho' they come with a good meaning.

The fame also is to be said of any that come how well foever prepar'd, if they neglect to be present, or to do their duty carefully in all the parts of so fort a Service. Pbil. 2. 12. Hebo: 11. 6. Mal. 1. 8.

If such an Accident as fainting should happen to any one in the Prayers after the Laying on of the hand upon him; that may not be thought to deprive him of any of the Benefit of the Ordinance. Yet the Bishop would do very well to repeat over him those Prayers which the accident hinderd him to attend, especially if the Lord's Prayer were one of them.

If such an accident should happen in the Service before the Laying on of hands; a good man will surely not deny the repeating of 10 short a Service, or so much as shall be then needful or expedient to be repeated, for any the poorest Christian.

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T has now been sufficiently shew'd, what Confirmation was

in the days of the Apostles; That they who were Instruct

ed in the Knowledge of the Gospel, and did Believe the fame, and Repent, and were Baptiz'd, and did truly Love God, and keep his Commandments, Thirsting after more grace; they by the Prayer, and Laying on of the hands of one or more Apostles or Bishops, receiv'd a plenteous Increase of the Saving Grace of the Holy Ghost that was before given in Baptism; to enable them better to Understand, and Remember, and Live according to Christ's Word; and to Confirm their Belief of it ; and to give them greater Boldness to profess it, notwithstanding the threats and perfecutions of their enemies: to the end, that as Christ requires higher Degrees of Holiness than were before requir’d, fo his disciples might have Grace to do as he expected from them. This Grace was the Seal of God's Chil dren, and the Earnest of their Inheritance, and the Comfort of the Comforter. And together with this Grace, there were gi. ven to many miraculous Gifts, then neceffary for the Teftifying the Truth of the Gospel, and to fit men for holy Employments in the Church.

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The Second PART.

That the same Confirmation that was in the

days of the Apostles, is Ordain'd of God to Continue to the End of the world.

CHAP. I.

The Design and Need of Confirmation never ceases.

HEY that allow not the Continuance of this holy Ordinance, alledge that the Apoftolical

Confirmation was only a Personal Privilege, T

and to Cease when Miraculous Inspirations did not accompany it. But this their faying is only a Pretence without Proof. It Thall

therefore be plainly prov'd, that the same Confirmation, for the Substance of it, that was in the days of the Apostles, is Ordaind of God to Continue to the End of the world. The fame that every Christian then receiv'd is Or. dain'd to Continue for ever; altho not the miraculous Attendant of it, which was given only to fome, and was to continue, no longer than the Occasion of it lasted.

If it were only for miraculous gifts, then it should cease when they ceas'd; as well as the Anointing with oil for the miracu. lous cure of the fick.

But the Design of it being for the Increase of Sanctifying Grace, and for the Strengthning of Christians against temptations, particularly the threats and persecutions of the world; this cannot but continue as long as Baptized Christians need Increase of Grace, and of Strength against temptations.

There is no mention in the Scripture, nor ground in Reason of the Ceasing of this Ordinance. Christians do ftill Need all the Means of Grace as much as ever they did. Popis persecucions are as fierce and cruel, as those of the heathen were. And they that will live Godly in Christ Jesus, wheresoever they live, must expect the ill-will and persecutions of worldly men.

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Therefore

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16

Confirmation one of the Fundamentals. Part II.

Therefore Christ's Promise Matth. 28. 20, to be with his Ministers always even unto the end of the world, in their teaching Christians to observe all things whatsoever he hath commanded, must be understood of his being with them in their teaching and administring Confirmrtion, as one of the things he has Commanded, (altho' after that Promise) when and howsoever he commanded it, and as one of the Means of Grace, whereby he enables us to perform all his Commandments.

С НА Р. ІІ.
Confirmation one of the First Fundamental Prin-

ciples that Continue for ever.

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AYING on of hands is, Heb. 6. 2, one of the firf (Cb.

5. 12) principles, and a part of the foundation of the do

Etrine of Christ; and plac'd next to baptifm, in the same rank with repentance and faith on the one side, and refurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment on the other *. And therefore it is without doubt to Continue to the End of the world; as well as those other Principles and parts of the fame Foundation.

They therefore who would have Confirmation to cease when miraculous gifts ceas'd, may as well say The Preaching of the Gospel, and Faith, and Baptism were also then to cease. For Mark 16. 15, &c, Christ fays to his Apostles, Preach the Golpel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, fall be Javed: but he that believeth not, foall be damned. And these signs Toall follow them that believe; In my Name they fall caft out devils; they hall speak with new tongues ; &c. See Part 1, chi 3, at the end.

See Part 1, Ch. i.

CHAR

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